With school breaks fast approaching, this is the time of year when high school and college students begin searching for summer jobs. In Aiken and surrounding areas, there are numerous restaurants and fast food places who are generally always looking to hire, particularly to keep up with seasonal tourism demands. As young people may not be required to have past experience to work as cooks or in kitchens, this can put them at risk for accidents and injuries. On the job burn injuries in particular are common and can lead to permanent scarring and disfigurement. In these situations, workers’ compensation can help offset costs and lost wages they incur.
Burns can occur among food service workers as the result of contact with grills, fryers, steam tables, hot water in dishwashers, and due to spills involving hot food and beverages. For young people, the temptation may be to downplay these injuries but the fact is they can result in potentially life threatening harm and permanent disfigurement and disabilities. According to the Healthline, the following are the three primary burn levels these workers need to be aware of:
First degree burns: These are considered superficial burns which cause minimal damage, impacting the outermost layer of skin. They can cause extreme pain along with swelling and redness, and may eventually peel as the burn heals, which can take as long as ten days.
Second degree burns: These are more serious, impacting the top layer of skin. Second degree burns typically result in blisters that can be incredibly painful and sore. Once blisters pop open, it is important to keep the area clean to promote healing and to avoid the risk of infection. These can take up to three weeks or longer to heal.
Third degree burns: These are the most severe type of burn, penetrating throughout the layers of skin. They often result in a charred, waxy, or leathery appearance on the skin. They are often not as painful as other burns, due to the fact that nerve damage often occurs. These burns can result in severe scarring, with no defined timeline for recovery.
Any time a burn occurs on the job, you should seek medical attention immediately. Even a first degree burn can be potentially life threatening, particularly if it covers sensitive areas or a large portion of the body.
Compensation For Job-Related Burn Injuries
Burn injuries should be reported to your employer as soon as they occur so that an accident report can be filed. While young employees may attribute these injuries to their own inexperience or carelessness, the fact is they may still be entitled to benefits through the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. Benefits available include the following:
Coverage of current and future medical expenses;
Reimbursement for lost wages;
Disability payments for injuries which impact your ability to perform certain tasks on your job.
To discuss whether your eligibility and the types of benefit you may be entitled to, call or contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC online and request a consultation with our Aiken, SC workers compensation attorney today.